Maybe it is because you’ve spent twenty days alone, but you see your sister’s cat everywhere in Oaxaca; he’s unmistakably smoking a pipe, posed with a storm cloud above his head.

Some days you write home to see if you are still real.

One afternoon, your mother slyly offers: you’re as real as your sister’s cat.

So, still, you have no answers.


  • What does it mean to be alone? For a week? For a month? In your home? In a foreign land?

Alone for a Week


I washed a load of clothes

and hung them out to dry.

Then I went up to town

and busied myself all day.

The sleeve of your best shirt

rose ceremonious

when I drove in; our night-

clothes twined and untwined in

a little gust of wind.


For me it was getting late;

for you, where you were, not.

The harvest moon was full

but sparse clouds made its light

not quite reliable.

The bed on your side seemed

as wide and flat as Kansas;

your pillow plump, cool,

and allegorical. . . .

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